Protest Looms At Major Nigerian Airports Over Last-Minute Appointment Of 33 Directors In Aviation Sector By Former President, Buhari

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Recall that Buhari had approved the appointment of about 33 new directors in agencies under the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, a few days to the end of his administration.

Anationwide protest at the country’s major airports is looming after some civil society groups, the Good Governance and Progressive Yoruba Youth Council and the Civic Situation Room (CSR), on Friday kicked against the last-minute appointments into Aviation Sector by former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that Buhari had approved the appointment of about 33 new directors in agencies under the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, a few days to the end of his administration.
Buhari had noted that the new appointments were to help reposition the agencies to perform their statutory duties as enshrined in the law and to help address appropriate placements based on federal character requirements.
However, in a statement jointly signed by CSR Executive Director, Vincent Unazi, the coordinator of Good governance, Ahmed Mukta and the coordinator of Progressive Yoruba Youth Council, Kola Salawu, on Friday, described the timing and rationale of the appointment as “horrendous and unwarranted”.
The groups, while saying that it would protest until the appointments were reversed, noted that the appropriate action would have been to extend the tenures of the Managing Directors (MDs), Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and directors for 30 days while nominating new candidates for the incoming administration.
The groups added that if not that the former minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, had “malicious intent”, he would have constituted governing boards long ago and not the show of shame he hurriedly did before exiting the office.
According to the groups, “For the entire duration of Sirika’s administration, he failed to appoint boards into the different agencies, thereby usurping their powers.
“But less than two days to the end of the administration, the boards were hurriedly inaugurated, and that was after new directors were appointed.
“There is nothing wrong in extending the tenures of the MD/ CEOs for a further 30 days while the term of the existing directors would have been on a transitional basis.
“We also have no issues with nominating potential candidates for the incoming administration to pick to drive their agenda. However, the manner the last appointments were carried out left much to be desired.
“It was as though the former minister carefully plotted to reward his cronies in the twilight of the Buhari administration knowing that this would have been resisted if done earlier.
“Sirika left all capable and qualified individuals to pick his men to run the various departments and agencies. It is unacceptable. What he has done is to create a chaotic situation for President Tinubu and we are ready to clean it up.
“This is not much of a surprise, though. Sirika’s time in office was characterized by nepotism, lopsided appointments, tribalism, flagrant disregard for the rule of law, and usurpation of powers belonging to boards of aviation parastatals.
“At different points, he oversaw illegal recruitments into agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
“We won’t let this one slip. We have finalized plans to hold massive protests at the headquarters of the Ministry of Aviation. We will also hold peaceful rallies at major international airports across the country to demand the reversal of these appointments.”

Credit: Sahara reporter

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